Forget Treasuries: These 7%+ Dividends Are Much Safer

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Don’t believe anyone who tells you there’s such a thing as a safe investment. Truth is, every asset—from Treasuries to houses to dividend stocks—involves risk.

The “safest” investment, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is a short-term US Treasury bill. You lend the government $100, say, and you’ll get $105.17 back in a year. Not bad.

But there are some caveats:

  1. Short-term Treasury rates fluctuate, and the Federal Reserve has said they’ll try to get them lower later this year.
  2. In a truly apocalyptic disaster, you might find that the Federal Reserve doesn’t pay your money back. In fact, you might find that money itself is worthless.

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Some are fast. Some are slow.
Some are high. Some are low.
None of them is like another.
Don’t ask us why, go ask your mother.

Dr. Seuss

Here at Contrarian Outlook, we prefer slow—as in slow-moving share prices. And high—as in high yields.

As to why, well, I need to address why other (less sophisticated) investing websites have bad information regarding a very good fund. So bad, in fact, that vanilla investors are scared to buy this perfectly safe 8.4% dividend!

Before I send you to ask your mother, I’ll explain why our website is right and other websites are wrong.… Read more

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As folks who are always on the hunt for high-yield investments, we love 8%+ paying closed-end funds (CEFs).

CEFs, of course, are renowned for those high payouts—and the vast majority pay monthly. No “regular” stocks offer such a potent payout combo.

Best part is, many CEFs are on sale now: Of the 422 tracked by the CEF Connect screener, 372 currently trade at discounts to net asset value (NAV, or the value of their underlying assets).

That’s a great place to start our search for top-notch CEFs because a discount to NAV is basically free money: it lets us pick up, say, red-hot tech stocks like Texas Instruments (TXN), Amazon.comRead more

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I have to admit, every year it gets harder and harder to do my taxes.

The process isn’t any more difficult—or at least if it is, my accountant isn’t saying! No, my problem is the money I end up owing.

Having to write a check to Uncle Sam for more than I earned in my first three years of working is hard to do. Which is why I’m always looking for ways to cut my taxes.

And really, the best way for me (and most likely you, too) is through a “boring” sounding investment called a municipal bond. There are three reasons why:

  1. Municipal bond, or “muni,” returns can amount to more than 9% per year for those in high tax brackets.

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I have to admit, every year it gets harder and harder to do my taxes.

The process isn’t any more difficult—or at least if it is, my accountant isn’t saying! No, my problem is the money I end up owing.

Having to write a check to Uncle Sam for more than I earned in my first three years of working is hard to do. Which is why I’m always looking for ways to cut my taxes.

And really, the best way for me (and most likely you, too) is through a “boring” sounding investment called a municipal bond. There are three reasons why:

  1. Municipal bond, or “muni,” returns can amount to more than 9% per year for those in high tax brackets.

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Vanilla investors are freaking out that Jerome Powell & Co. won’t cut rates right away.

Who cares if we’re buying safe yields up to 11.0% like the three we’re about to highlight. This trio is positioned to benefit from an upcoming bull run in utility stocks:

“To be sure, long rates might hover around these levels for a bit. But the Fed’s rate hikes will eventually add up, and the much-talked-about recession will arrive. That will result in lower interest rates, both on the ‘short’ end (controlled by the Fed) and the ‘long’ (determined by the 10-year Treasury rate). As rates fall, the prices of bonds and ‘bond proxies,’ like utilities, will pop.”

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It’s starting again—the media has its hooks into a new story to scare investors, in yet another effort to gain attention.

The upshot is that we’ve now got a very nice opportunity to pick up a special kind of closed-end fund (CEF) that yields 7%+ and does something unusual to limit downside.

This setup reminds me just a bit of 2022, when buying fear gave contrarians bargains, and historically high dividend yields, too.

The Media-Driven “Crisis” That Doesn’t Exist

Let’s start to trace out our opportunity here by first talking about the media, which I probably don’t have to tell you is more interested in getting an emotional reaction (mainly fear and worry) out of its audience more than anything else these days.… Read more

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I wish I didn’t have to write this column ever, let alone every couple of years. But this is ground we have to cover, like it or not: dividend stocks during war.

We invest in dividend stocks. There are wars and conflicts that affect our money. That’s reality.

Let’s start with last Saturday, while my daughter was in the middle of their monthly Girl Scouts meeting. I gulped at the headline on my phone: Drones heading towards Israel. Ugh.

So, on the drive to pick up my daughter, I flipped on the news in the Dadmobile. My sweety jumped into the car.… Read more

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I’m this close to sending out a buy call on a stock that—if I do—I know would light up the phone lines (and customer-service inbox!) at our New York office.

There’s a good reason why: Imagine being along for this drop.

New “Watch-List” Addition Sheds Two-Thirds of Its Value

(Heck, given that this stock was till recently a staple of many dividend portfolios, maybe you don’t have to imagine.)

That’s the peak-to-trough dive on 3M Co. (MMM) in the last six years. To put it in perspective, it came as the broader S&P 500 gained 79%.

I know that buying—or even considering—a stock with a chart like this gives many folks heart palpitations.… Read more

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It’s Tax Day—the perfect time to talk about one of our favorite income plays: municipal bonds.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you “munis” are boring. They’re anything but: It’s easy to grab 5%+ yields from them. And because munis’ income is tax-free for most Americans, that 5% is worth more—in some cases a lot more—to us.

They’re stable, too. Consider how much better you’d have slept at night if you held munis during the 2022 nightmare, when they held up much better than stocks:

2022 Put Muni Bonds’ “Crash Resistance” on Display

Truth is, yearly declines of any sort are unusual for munis, which tend to deliver 5% to 6% annual total returns in the long run—and that’s before their tax benefits, which are, quite frankly, game-changing.… Read more

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